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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,262 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,262
Hads: 6,119
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 449
Gots: 1,273 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,262 | Hads: 6,119
Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear golden yellow with two-finger, white, foamy, creamy head that lasted a long time. Fantastic lacing.

S: Citrus and pine hops.

T: Moderate sweetness and solid hop bitterness. Fresh citrus hops, orange, pine.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Smooth and warm going down.

O: I really like Double Jack, so I was excited to give this a try. Was not let down. Great IPA.

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Photo of Zeplover2010
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice IPA. Doesn't really smack you like some other IPAs with similar ABV's. Had on tap in 1/2 liter mug. Good colour, nice white head leaving lace as it works down glass.Recommend - especially for those who dislike sharp hoppy aftertaste from IPAs.

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Photo of tjwarren
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a can dated 4/28. Nice looking beer, smells very fresh but not overly aromatic - just doesn't jump out at you. The taste is pretty much perfect if anything too well balanced just because nothing jumps out at you. The feel is the best part of the beer. Perfect body and carbonation, a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, bottled on date of 5/21/10.

This is a fine looking IPA. The body is deep copper even in the thin base of the Sam Adams glass and the soapy sudsy eggshell head has already left a nice ring of lace.

Aromas jump out of the bottle at you, an assurance that this beer will live up to the buzz. The smell leans towards the pine, mango, and weed side of the hop world. I immediately found peach as well, and some grapefruit deeper in. I may already agree that this is one of the finest and most under the radar American IPAs. Malt is apparent but so is its west coast dryness.

The flavor is about as impressive as the aroma. A hefty bitterness is accompanied by more of a grapefruit profile. This isn't to say that the pine isn't backing that grapefruit pith up real well and that I don't taste orange, peach, mango, papaya, and alcohol.

This is a dry IPA, I prefer them that way. The balance between some body, some carbonation, and alcohol/level of dryness is quite good.

I am so glad that Union Jack has lived up to my personal expectations. I think that I focus slightly more on aroma with IPA/DIPAs and this beer delivers. The 7.5% ABV is in the upper range for the style but doesn't really hurt drinkability because the aroma and flavor are so damn good. Take you time and enjoy it. You'll get your hop fix.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Canned on 4/24/15, so it's a little over four months old. Hopefully some of the hop flavors have still held up. With that in mind, I'll review this beer with a grain of salt and re-review if I can find it fresher.

LOOK: Slightly hazy golden orange with steady bubble streams and a finger and a half of creamy white head. Looks delicious.

SMELL: Yes! I can still smell hops. Actually, even for its age this smells delicious. Orange peel and toasted caramel maltiness meets sweet apricot, peach, and pineapple aromas. Yum!

TASTE: Very nice. A nice balance of citrus and tropical fruits with a steady but never overpowering malt backbone. Imagine a mix of Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Sculpin. That's how this tastes. Tangerine and grapefruit juice upfront, toasted malt and caramel in the middle, followed by apricot, mango, peach, and pineapple, and then finishes with grapefruit pith, bitter pineapple, and light pine. Sweet and juicy, balanced with just enough bitterness. I would kill to get this fresh!

FEEL: Medium, approaching full. Nicely carbonated. Slightly creamy. Super drinkable. Dry on the finish. Refreshing.

OVERALL: Wow. Just wow. This is how I like an IPA, and this isn't even fresh! New favorite IPA...?

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Photo of Treyliff
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #250

A- pours a bright and crystal clear golden-orange color with a thick and creamy white two-finger head, great retention and lacing that goes all the way down the glass.

S- sharp and pungent citrus hop with huge grapefruit notes. Undertones of biscuity malt.

T- heavy hops up front bring notes of grapefruit with some tropical papaya. A few pine notes, biscuity malt profile underlies but lets the hops take center stage, a bit of caramel. The finish is somewhat dry with a citrus hop linger.

M- medium, almost full bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel with a velvety smooth finish. Alcohol is impressively hidden, nearly perfect.

O- this is just a solid IPA, plain and simple, you would never know it was 7.5 ABV. I'm a fan of citrus forward ipa's and this one doesn't dissapoint.

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Photo of unHipHopHead
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a honey/copper color with a nice one finger head.

S: Nice sweet grapefruit aroma, floral and citrus.

T: Nice and crisp, full bodied with a great hop kick and a long lasting lingering hop aftertaste. There is a nice malt backbone that rounds this beer out but it doesn't get it the way of the delicious hops.

M: coats the mouth nicely. moderate carbonation to make the hops sparkle.

D: at 7.5% one bomber of this guy and you'll be set... for a while.

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Photo of FFreak
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a two month-old 12 oz bottle into a willi glass. It's a clear gold with slight orange color and a one finger tight head and minimal lacing. Beautiful floral and citrus notes on the aroma with just a touch of dank. Taste is of citrus, particularly orange, and malty sweetness, followed by a hint of dank. Mouth is perfect for the style. Overall, this is a great IPA. I wish I could get it easier where I'm at.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Pours a finger of eggshell head, body is a translucent golden straw, left some very nice wide webbed lacing after the session.

Smell - Pungent fresh greeen hops, citrus smells of grapefruit, and under-ripe pineapple.

Taste - Wow, really bright citrus, pineapple and a touch of tropical. These are balanced so nicely and quite complex, and there is a perfect balancing sweetness that seems to come naturally from the citrus, vs. a candy or carmel flavor. The finish is citrus zest and pith, with tiny pockets of fruit sweetness in the mouth corners. Really tasty!

Mouthfeel - Almost medium, very smooth, so drinkable, carb is nearly medium but absolutely smooth, no edges. Really perfect for this style.

Overall - What a delicious and great IPA - this would be a mainstay in my fridge if it were more readily available in my area. A must try - really wish I had a few more of these!

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Photo of jboib82
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The floral scent punches you in the nose as soon as you complete the pour, which results in a pleasant amber color with a tiny little head. Normally I'd be disappointed but the lack of foam actually accentuates the pretty color, and there's great lacing. Tastes of citrus and grapefruit and the bitterness characteristic of the style, but balanced nicely by a nice infusion of beta acids. Medium body with average carbonation which works because any more would detract from the great flavor combination. I found it highly drinkable because of its balance compared to other interpretations of the style. Hopheads might object to the relative lack of aggressive hopping, but I for one loved the change in a world of increasingly powerful IPAs.

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Photo of mrchrisray
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a) copper color, redish yellow. good head at first with medium retention. pretty bubbly and inviting looking

s) smells like hops, strong, some pine scents

t) strong bite of hops up front but very balanced with the malt and super smooth finish. i can't taste the 7.5% alcohol either

m) kinda doughy in the mouth and definitely bubbly

o) a great beer. i was expecting more of a hoppy taste, but i'm not let down at all. it is hoppy and super well balanced so all the flavors blend very well together.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and bottled on date of 04/10/2014 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear, light copper 1 and 1/2 finger of head; perfect in my opinion as far as appearance in an American IPA

Smell: Citrus hops and pine notes

Taste: Complex hop profile that has a balance between citrus grapefruit notes and piney earthy tones

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and finishes dry

Overall: Sadly I did not see the bottled on date until after my purchase. I was worried, but this has held up really well and it is nothing short on hop flavor. This is a solid example of a west-coast style IPA. Im glad to see that it hasn't dropped off after a few months. Hopefully I can get my hands on some really fresh bottles in the near future.

UPDATE: Enjoying a Union jack from a can canned on 02/27/15 poured into a tulip glass.

Far superior than the last time I reviewed this. This is how I remember it was when I first had this on draft over a year ago. So much brighter in character than the 4 month old bottle. Fantastic IPA.

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Photo of nickfl
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a Ightly hazy golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - A nice, hoppy aroma of pine and grapefruit with some toffee and thick malt in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with some pine and grapefruit. More pungent hops in the middle and a bit of sweaty onion character in the middle. Finishes with fairly strong bitterness, thick malt and more pungent pine and citrus hops.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - A very well made ipa. Great hop character and a thicker than aveage malt character that, despite it's intensity, doesn't get in the way of the hops.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber served in a pint glass

A - Slightly hazy golden amber with 2 finger off white head with good retention and excellent lacy. Head is fluffy and lace clings tightly along the whole glass.

S - A lot of grapefruit hoppy notes with a touch of toasted malts and some other citrus lemon and orange.

T - Taste is dominated by the citrus hops from beginning to end but the bouquet is quite nice with a bit of floral hops as well. The bready sweet malt comes next and it light and sweet. A bit more biscuity notes and then a touch of smooth bitterness with very present but well balanced alcohol throughout.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, chewy start with a nice smooth finish.

O - Very well balanced beer and I would drink this anytime. Went pretty well with gouda cheese and cracker to cleanse the palate between drinks. Pretty malty for an IPA and almost a Imperial IPA as far as the EtOH and bitterness allow.

2-19-13 upgrading this brew after having it on tap at House of 1000 beers in PA and getting a growler to share with friends. The floral notes are great and the alcohol is subtle.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: August 2, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: watching Naked and Afraid XL... APPEARANCE: quintessential golden amber body with a scarcity of effervescence--surprising...not surprisingly, the head is creamy, thick, white as snow and lacing beautifully as it eases its way to the body ... AROMA: the grapefruit rocks the nostrils; spruce, coconut, fresh biscuit and perfurmed flowers give this beer a tremendously varied profile...the draw alone is an experience ...PALATE: alive with carbonation, with a sizzling finish from teeth to throat that streaks and holds ...TASTE: as promised, grapefruit overloads the senses and dominates the other citrus fruits vying for attention; melon and lemon are detectable; the resinous pinecone is undeniable late; the malt base counters the hops deluge and dams the intensity with biscuit... OVERALL: just another in the long line of West Coast IPAs that could be a ritual with me if I were married to the idea of one style; the flavor crushes the experience through an intense wall of hops...at 7.5 ABV, a perfect balance of strength and sipability...

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Photo of jj139
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper with an one finger beige head. Long lasting lacing

S - Lots going on in here: Citrus, grapefruit, pine, resin, with hints of toasted malt.

T - Citrus up front which blends into some appealing malt. A slight hop bitterness towards the back with a refreshing finish.

M - Medium carbonation and body. Full flavor but very balanced.

O - I really enjoy this very drinkable beer. Everything from the different types of malts to just enough hops is in perfect balance. This beer is one of my regular go to brews.
Really looking forward to picking up some more.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to whitebricke for sending me this one as an extra in a past trade! Keeping the IPA trend alive at my new place with whitebricke having provided all of them so far... Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow orange with a two finger slightly off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, grapefruit, orange, citrus hop, and grapefruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, subtle grapefruit, and subtle dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a really good brew. Very easy to drink and quite refreshing. No sign of the alcohol at all. The flavor on this one was really nice and the subtle dark chocolate note I picked up on added a very nice touch to the otherwise very citrusy flavors going on here. The aroma was very well balanced and nice. A definite must try in my book!

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Photo of puboflyons
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 355 ml. bottle marked: Bottled on 04/08/12. Sampled on July 21, 2012.

It pours a golden copper-yellow with a soft but small head that lingers and laces.

On the nose the sweet malts take the back page as the piney, earthy hops roar up the nostrils setting off all kinds of inviting sensations.

The body is medium to heavy and also smooth.

The flavor is full of hopped bitterness which coats my throat and lingers well beyond the session. Yet the 7.5% ABV is impossible to taste. For people who love hops you are going to like this one.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz received as an extra with a very cool trader.. Weibull. Poured into my New Sam Adams funky glass.

1" head takes a while to die back leaving bunches of lace.. sorta looks crunchy. Brew is crystal clear golden.. very pretty.

Alot of grapefruit and pine hoppiness in the nose and little else.. very clean and very hoppy.. smells fresh.

Flavor is all about the hops .. citrus and pine cones.. a little sweet off the top but that all melts away quickly.. lite pale malts .. and a very nice bitter backbone... finishes with a lip-smacking grapefruit oil on my teeth and lips... wonderful. Mouthfeel is spot-on for the style.. carbonation is prickly but helps with the maltiness... this brew tastes like a big-boned IPA (verging on DIPA territory) and it is.. but everything is very well balanced.

I could drink these for quite a while.. A huge thanks goes out to Class Act Trader Weibull. Jason.. I owe you big!

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Photo of PieOhMy
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shaker pint

A. Transparent amber. Foamy cream colored head. Slow fade. Fat lacing.

S. Cut grass. Hops for miles. Flowery scent. Pine resin. So fresh and outstanding.

T. Hoppy. Caremel malt. Tropical fruit. Orange peel. Bitter spicey finish.

M. Medium. Nice body. Little carbo. Finishes nice and smooth.

O. Great. Balanced perfectly. Super hoppy with a nice thick backbone. My favorite FW so far.

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Photo of bosco7
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale color with a head that is sustained.

Grapefruit, pine, mango juice in the nose. Nice and dank.

Above average hop flavors here. Similar to Pliny the Elder in hop character (but not as overwhelmingly awesome). Pine, mango, and grapefruit. Bitterness is bracing but balanced with a sweet and very clean malt profile. Very nice

Mouthfeel is a little fuller than I was anticipating but it is definitely not cloying or sticky like some breweries make their IPAs. Overall a very fine beer with plenty of hop complexity that is very drinkable. I think this beer gives Pliny a run for the money. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Boxus
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For a long time I underestimated Firestone, and neglected to try their products. I was a fool! Once I finally tried Union Jack, I was instantly sold. This is one lush IPA, the sort you could use to show newcomers what the style is all about.

I'm currently drinking my second bottle, poured out into a tall glass. Had one before dinner (pizza) and one (this one ) during/after. It's worth noting that this is drinkable enough to function well as a meal companion beer, though its robust flavor makes it preferable to drink it alone.

It poured a lovely twilight gold, with a finger and a half of rich, sudsy head, which diminished but left abundant lacing. I took a whif and was delighted at the freshness of the scent. Ripe honey tangerine with a piney punch. If gold had a smell, this would be it.

The flavor? Rich and poignant hops coasting over floral caramel sweetness. There is honey, rose, and pine mingling with lemon and grapefruit. Basically, everything you expect from a first-class IPA. The mouthfeel is rich and syruppy, but light enough to remain very drinkable.

Overall, this is just a damn fine beer and I'm stupid for not having tried it sooner. Cheers! :)

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into my fancy British style pint glass from Tyranena. First enjoyed this on tap at the brewpub this past weekend after long wanting to sample this beer. My positive experience led to my wrapping some bottles in my suitcase for the flight home.

Mildly hazy orange with yellow highlights when held to the light.

Some nice tropical fruitiness on the nose. Pineapple, lemon, and apricot meld nicely with a slightly caramel maltiness to wrap it up. Much brighter on tap, but the bottle version doesn't quite hold up.

An apricot bomb. Dried apricot and skins really jump to the front and center with the tropical frutiness more of a secondary player. Malt presence is solid but helps to prop up the hop profile and make for an enjoyable and damn near chuggable IPA.

Light bodied and snappy, does not drink near the 7.5% tag. With the lines so blurred between many IPA's and Doubles, this beer straddles the line with great success.

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Photo of ChanChan
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes
Served in a tulip glass at the Blue Palms in Hollywood Califas!

Appearance: Very nice clear orange/copper color. The color reminds me of orange flavored Jello I loved as a child.

Aroma: Tons of citrus and pine, this has a very west coast IPA aroma to it.

Taste: This beer has a great taste, it is also not as bitter as many of the great westcoast IPA’s.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely refreshing and very drinkable.

Overall: I drank this beer alongside a very popular Double IPA from Santa Rosa CA and the Union Jack was a bit more impressive to me both in appearance and taste this time around!

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Photo of tylerprince
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful clear golden amber with a one-finger head. The head gives way to an incredible, persistent lacing.

S: Pungent floral and citrus aromas, with a fair amount of pine. Not really smelling much in the way of malt.

T/M: Delicious. A smooth, crisp IPA (on the verge of DIPA) with a powerful floral and citrus taste, giving way to more citrus and finally to a mild toasty malt flavor. Just the slightest bit too much carbonation for my taste, and leaves quite a bit of alcohol on the palate. Pretty creamy mouthfeel, which was an interesting surprise.

O: A delicious, somewhat rare IPA. I've been meaning to try this one and was excited to see it on tap at the bar last night. A definite go-to IPA, competing for the title with the Stone IPA.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,262 ratings.